I am 51 (April this year) still haven't been called for my first mamogram but found a lump in May of this year, referred very quickly and after 3 attempts to get clear margins had a mastectomy 2 days ago. Somebody, can't quite remember who said I would probably have been called this October. Does make me wonder if I had been called last year whether they would have seen it then. I was told my lump could have been there possibly up to a year. They went on to find smaller clusters and then lobular cancer which doesn't show up very well on mamograms so I had to have an MRI to check other side. It was clear fortunately.
I had my first mammogram at the age of 50 and thank goodness I did - that's when they found I had DCIS - no lumps at all. Two years after that I had secondaries. This lady should certainly not have to wait or pay privately for her mamogram.
I am now 53 and at 51 had my first screening and at 52 another that found BC. I had mastectomy, SN and now on Tam. I go back in Dec for first of many follow up screenings.
I am very grateful that the system worked for me but I did have two screenings in two years and I will never moan about a mobile van again. Does it matter which area you live in although I also know that it shouldn't. Perhaps this should really be researched carefully in order to give everyone the chance of yearly screening of a potentially life threatening disease.
I can only say how lucky I was to have such good care from start to finish and have advertised locally - family, friends and community about taking up the screenings offered and going to doctors when needed.
I had my first routine mammogram at 52 and 4 months and I'm very grateful about the timing. On that mammogram a lump that appeared to be 5mm was seen. A biopsy was done, which confirmed cancer. The lump, when removed, was 15mm (lobular cancer is very difficult to detect on mammos, MRIs etc) and I had clear nodes. If I had had my first mammo when I was 50, they almost certainly wouldn't have seen anything and I would now be having my second mammo (10 months later than my dx in Dec) and the picture may not have been so good. (does that make sense?) What I'm saying is that for me the timing was good. At the end of the day, it's all pot luck I'm afraid.
Go to the NICE website and check out the Clinical Guideline for Breast Cancer in Families. It will show that you need to have 2 first degree relatives with BC to get Genetic Testing, however, it ALSO say ladies with concerns about BC should be treated. I went to my GP with concerns and asked for Breast Screening (having Mother and Sister diagnosed) and was refused - I was diagnosed 5 months later. I was later given Genetic Testing which was rather too late by then. I am currently following up with a complaint about the refusal of screening, given my family history and the fact that I was in my late forties anyway.
Any problems with this then PM me.
The current (it is being revised I believe) national breast screening literature that accompanies a call to screening says that due to the sequence of calling, one surgery at a time, then you may well not get called until nearly 3 years after your 50th birthday. In that situation I would press to get to a mobile unit somehow, make a fuss, dig your heels in, refuse to leave the office until something is done because when it WAS done it was too late for me! If that failed then pay for MRI screening because a mammogram is 80% accurate at best so if you're going to pay then pay for the best. I'm afarid too may of us are fobbed off time and again and do not rattle enough cages and WE are the ones who pay the price.
Rant over ...
I went to my GP and asked her to refer me for a mammogram as my mum had been diagnosed with BC a few months earlier and her consultant had advised me and my sisters to get checked out. When I arrived for my appt I saw a different consultant from my mums who said mums consultant had been wrong to give me that advice as according to NICE guidelines I wasnt an at risk case as my mums type of bc wasnt of the gene type. Anyway, had the mammogram anyhow as it had been booked and lucky I did as a lump was found in my left breast. I shudder at the thought that if mums consultant hadnt advised me to get checked out that I wouldnt have been entitled to a mammogram till I was age 50 or even 53 (I was 47 when I had my mammogram) and could have been too late.
My GP never checked out whether my mum did have cancer and just took my word for it so was wondering if anyone said they had a relative with BC if they could get referred regardless.
They are dropping the age from 50 to 47 but i don't think it comes into play until 2012! then of course there will still be the rotation so it we only guarantee that everyone is seen by the time they are 50.
I turn 50 about 4 months before my 5 year remission period is up in 2011. I was told that after this I will automatically go into the screening programme for a yearly mammogram. Perhaps it's like everything else, it varies depending on where you are?
I am wondering if anyone can shed some light on the routine mammograms which women have at 50.
I attended a patient participation group at my GP surgery tonight and a lady who is just turned 50 has been told that she will not be called for a routine mammogram now til 2011. The reason for this is that it is done by a rotation system with GP surgeries every 3 years and our patients have been seen last year. She is very upset as 3 of her friends have recently been Dx with BC and had mastectomies.
The Gp has told her there is no way round this except to pay privately which she does not think she should have to do.
I have never heard of this before and obviously its NOT true that routine mammograms are started at 50, more like nearly 53 in her case.
If BCC could say something on this it would be much appreciated or maybe push for this system to be stopped and ALL women have mammograms in their 50th birthday year. A possible campaigns issue.